Thursday, August 29, 2013

Ko'olaupoko Chutes

On Saturday August 10 I was really jittery and wanted to see all kinds of waterfalls, I just didn't know which one.  Tropical storm Gil was going to pass by the island throwing bands of showers across all of the main Hawaiian islands. I was frothing for some waterfall action. 

Many waterfalls seem to appear out of no where on the windward side of the island when heavy rains hit so I decided to check it out.  When Katie and I were driving over the Pali we saw plenty waterfalls, town side had some that was flowing, and coming out of the tunnel looking towards the saddles there were some thin ribbons of water coming down. 

Baron texted us early in the morning.  He knew where there were going to be some waterfalls that rarely ever flow.  I knew the spot as well and wanted to see it as well.  A year ago I ventured to the same waterfall we were going to, solo, luckily I had some company this time and wouldn't have to face the Cat's Claw alone.  With us was Cory, Baron, Katie, Agnes, Dave, and myself.  I had been to two the last time I came but this time we went to four!

When we parked we saw all four chutes flowing and it was POURING!  We slowly got our rainy gear stuff ready.  I opted for a warm Rip Curl top and some board shorts for I knew we were going to be wet the entire duration of the hike.  I bagged up my DSLR in a waterproof bag with my snacks and just a little bit of water.  We started hiking around 8 that morning. 

Our journey to the first waterfall was the worse.  We had to battle Cat's Claw a few times to get to the first chute.  If you don't know what that is it's this nasty vine with RAZOR sharp thorns.  It'll go through your pants, your shorts, even your shirt if you aren't careful.  If you get caught and you tug on it for it to release you from it's grasp it'll leave you with some major cuts.  The best thing to do is keep your eyes open look for it and avoid it at all cost.  If its in your way grab another stick and move it out of the way.  Gloves help as well but it'll go through your glove and cut up your fingers if you aren't careful. 

When we arrived at the first waterfall my jaw dropped.  From the first time I saw it to this time, it completely changed.  It was massive raw power that I had never seen on this island ever!  I seen a few outer island but nothing like it that I saw on Oahu up close.  I cannot describe to you on how many hundreds of thousands of gallons was flowing off of this thing, it was INCREDIBLE to say the least.  A lot of my friends were having trouble with their camera's because they weren't waterproof and would fog up.  Luckily I had my gopro.  The spray from the waterfall would fog up everyone's lenses or leave water drops all over the lens.  The gopro was great and all my shots and videos turned out pretty good. 

The second falls was a two tiered one.  We stood back and shot away with our cameras.  The third was cool.  It reminded me of Hamama falls but a lot taller.  We stood under this one for it wasn't as powerful as the first one and took a bunch of pictures.  At this time the rain let up a little and the clouds were dissipating.

The third falls was going to round out our trip but I begged to see the fourth chute even though none of us have been to it.  We didn't know how long it was going to take or how badly overgrown it was.  We followed the fourth stream up, contoured a waterfall on the left side and five minutes later we were at the fourth one.  This one had a nice canopy before it and was very picturesque because it wasn't as windy and misty as the other ones.  This is the only falls we could all set up our tripods and shoot long shutter speeds. 

This was probably the most excited I've been all year for waterfalls besides the previous blog post.  I've never seen anything like it on Oahu and I'm definitely going back when there's another heavy rain. 

This was take one year ago.  

The day of the heavy rains.  
Massive amounts of water was being dropped that day! 
The fourth waterfall slow shutter speed.  
Left to right: Baron, Katie, and Cory

Monday, August 26, 2013

Going against the flow

A few weeks ago Baron asked me if I wanted to do a hike that I've only heard about.  It required climbing lots of waterfalls, following a stream up a narrow gulch.  Earlier that week tropical Flossie came across the islands bearing just enough rain to fill this narrow gulch up with some water. 

We made our ways up a hot ridge and down into a stream bed.  We rocked hopped and jungle gymed through Hau tangles for about and hour before we hit our first real waterfall.  Many waterfalls we came to was easily walked along the side of or contoured around the side of it.  The real fun happens when you get to the waterfalls with the rope tied to the top and you have to climb up it.

Matt, Katie and Baron all were pretty experienced climber and knew how to handle the wet mossy rock with caution.  Some tips if you ever want to do this hike is take people that are confident in climbing and know how to handle themselves and have the strength to pull themselves up.  I seen plenty people freeze up and don't know where to go next when climbing these kinds of things.  It's also a really good idea to bring a dry bag or a old bag you don't really care about to put your belongings in because you and your belongings WILL GET WET!  I actually swam through some of the pools with the bag on top my head just for fun.  The last thing is watch the weather.  I would have loved to do it with a little more flow but there's a fine line between a little more flow and too much water.  This gulch is prone to flash flooding so just be careful when planning this outing.

Photos were taken by Matt Chun or Baron Yamamoto.

Matt Chun climbing one of the waterfalls with aid of a rope. 

Baron guiding Katie on where to place her hands and her feet.  

We had to swim through a series of pools to keep continuing. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Summer 2013

It's been an amazing summer to say the least.  This summer has been one of the best for waves.  From beginning to end it seemed like there was non stop waves for the south shore.  I practiced this one right hand wave for the entire summer.  After work in the morning I would check the surf report and if there was waves I would go down to Ala moana and surf there everyday if I wasn't too busy or too tired from work.  Every so often I would take a trip to Sandy beach and shoot some shore break.  Enjoy a few pics and clips in the video below.

The hiking this summer has been spectacular, weather wise and just general hiking with people I usually don't hike with. I only took one trip at the beginning of summer to the island of Kauai to backpack the Na Pali coast.  In previous blog post found Kalalau Part 1Kalalau Part 2Kalalau Part 3 you can see the weather the waves and the great fun we had during this trip.  

Hiking on Oahu has been good too! I've been meaning to complete the KST in sections and have been intrigued with doing the Northern part of the KST.  One of the more enjoyable main hike this summer was up to the Waimalu.  The blog post on Waimalu can be found here.

The group that I hike with this summer was super interested in finding some of he upper falls in some of the valleys which are super hard to reach.  Some of the waterfalls we saw were some that not many people get to see so I'm thankful for them showing me such gems on Oahu.  

This summer has been great and still looking forward to hiking throughout the fall.  There's many more hikes I need to blog about so stay tuned for some mean waterfalls and some thin ridges I've been hiking these past few weeks!  Lastly thanks for all the people that follow this blog and watch all my videos on a regular basis... Couldn't do it without all of your support!

 This woman was by my side the whole time this summer! Thanks for sharing the good times with me.

Waves crashing on a secluded beach.

Seems like something out of another planet.

The famous rainbow kiss!

The only way to start out the summer... Trip to Kalalau beach.

Fluted mountains at sunset. 

Looking down into Kalalau Valley.  

Waimea Canyon.

Katie checking out another view from the side of the road.  

Short afternoon hike... will never forget this day! 

An empty summer day at Sandy Beach.

I didn't get good video footage of our cave diving but I got this shot of Mr. Turtle.

Sunset time.

Barrels at this place was fun!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Kalalau Valley

Second to last day on our trip to Kalalau we decided to chill at the beach in the morning and catch some morning waves.  After breakfast and a mid morning lunch we decided to push off and explore Kalalau Valley.

Feeling energized from the ocean and breakfast we back tracked to the start of Kalalau Valley and headed inward and followed a trail.  We kept following a trail for about 45 mins and came across a few stream crossings while doing that.  After about an hour we were unsure of where we were in terms of finding "Big Pool".  We walked some more and after 15 minutes we ran into a person which I asked for directions for.  He kind of gave me the run around and kind of was spacey but after his directions we were headed in the right direction. 

In Kalalau Valley there are so many trails that are cut by people that it's really easy to get lost if you want to get somewhere (IE: Big pool or Davis Falls also known as Waimakemake Falls).  We walked through a few camp sites with no one there and it seemed like there were a lot of people living back there.  Even on Kalalau Beach there we at least a dozen or so individuals that actually were there for over a month.

When we finally reached "Big Pool" we hung out, swam in one of the deepest, bluest, fresh water pools I have ever swam in.  After we swam in the pool we layed on the black hot rocks to warm our bodies up.  After about an hour there we decided to make our way back to camp. 

We got back to camp around 4 ish and decided to wash up for dinner and have dinner on the beach.  We watched the sunset with everyone in our group and all shared our last few dehydrated food.  After the sunset we broke out the popcorn hot chocolate and hot tea.  Stars came out and it was a very gorgeous night to be laying there on the beach.  I know I'd wanna come back just for that.  We turned in early and decided to wake up and break down camp at 6 am. 

The next morning we all were packed up and ready to leave.  We met by the bathrooms for one last bathroom break before we'd make our way to Ke'e beach.  Good thing we left early because the famed "Red Hill" didn't have a single beam of light on it just yet.  We quickly made our way to Hanakoa with in mind that Keahi would leave us a note under the bench where he spent the night a few nights ago.  When we got to Hanakoa Keahi left me a note saying "Ryan Ke'e".  Which meant he made his way out to Ke'e beach and would wait for us there.  We took a break at Hanakoa to eat a really early lunch, rest and fill up our water bottles. 

After Hanakoa I felt as though I was gonna die!  The trail felt longer than ever with my 30+ lb pack and after 8 miles or so I was complaining!  I told my girlfriend that I just wanna be pushed off the cliff!  After my complaining we hit Hanakapi'ai beach where the ocean was so inviting.  Neal, Jason and I hit the water. 

In the shore break at Hanakapi'ai usually people don't dare swim in the waters.  There is actually a plaque put up for how many deaths had occured at the beach.  But the waves were smaller than the first day and really calm.  I took some video with my Gopro, look how clear the water is.  After half an hour in shore break we decided to make the last two miles to Ke'e beach.  Thank God those 12 miles were done! 

When we got to Ke'e we had arrived a little earlier than anticipated.  We had to wait a little for the cab to come and pick us up, so we swam and snorkeled at Ke'e Beach.  Around 4 the cab arrived and we said our farewells to the group.  Katie Jenny and I waited for Christian to pick us up because he was just getting off of work.  We called Keahi because we hadn't seen him at Ke'e beach and didn't know where he was.  Keahi actually hiked out the day we left him and was actually staying at a hotel with a couple of friends!  We went to pick him up and dropped him off at the airport. 

I decided to stay a few more days and spend some time with Katie exploring the island.  Stay tuned for that!
"Big Pool" chilling.

 Group photo in Kalalau Valley.

 I don't recommend those socks!

Looking back onto Kalalau Beach


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Kauai 2013

After our Na Pali trek I decided to stick around a few days and explore a little of Kauai with Katie.  We stayed at her sisters house with her boyfriend and enjoyed our two days there. 

The day after we got out of Na Pali we decided to head down to the west side of the island.  Waimea Canyon and Koke'e were there.  I also wanted to go to glass beach near Port Allen and check out the place where Katie picks up her cool hats, Machine Machine.  We played tourist at Waimea checking out all the look outs, eating fresh juicy pineapple in the parking lot and driving up to Kalalau lookout.  We hiked a little ways down to get a better view but it was wet and soggy up there. 

After leaving Waimea we headed down the mountain and hit up Port Allen and glass beach.  We cruised there and looked for some glass from the ocean.  When I went there a few years ago there were way bigger pieces but I guess now that everyone is looking for ocean treasure now they are all gone.  We picked out a few small pieces and headed over to Machine Machine.  We didn't pick up anything even though I was eyeing out a few hats that I might have picked up.  Till next time. 

That night Christian Jenny's boyfriend asked if we wanted to eat sushi in Kapa'a.  I never ate sushi since Japan so I was craving it.  We drove down to a sushi bar called Kintaro's, boy it was delicious!

The next day we decided to check out some beaches up north.  Jenny knew a place where a monk seal was nursing it's baby.  We decided to go check that out.  We watched the monk seal for over an hour, it swam around cruised on the beach and ate some food.  After that we went to another secret beach up the coast and went snorkeling for shells and stuff.  No one was on the beach when we got in and it was quite a walk from the car.  About thirty minutes swimming around checking out the reef we ran into a black tip shark.  That was the first time I seen a shark snorkeling and the first time Katie has seen a shark in the water.  We were both kinda freaked out so we got outta the water.  We hit up Hanalei pier and a food truck as well. 

The last two days on Kauai were pretty chill and can't wait to do it again!

One of the lookouts on the road to Waimea Canyon.

Grand Canyon of the Pacific.

I was just down there a few days ago! 

Looking for glass at Glass Beach.

Found a few pieces.  Making sure there are some left for others is a good thing!

Checkin out North Shore zones

The pup monk seal swimming around while momma lies on the beach.

Feeding time.

Lots of these lying around on the secret beach. 

Hanalei Pier with waterfalls all up in the mountains

Hanalei poi! 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Fern Gully

In a valley near Kahaluu lies a waterfall not many people see.  It lies behind a gated community and you can't see a waterfall from the road unless its raining and flash flooding.

Since my friend Josh got back from his recent trip to Kauai over the summer I was itching to hike with him and talk story about his internship over the summer on Kauai.  

Along with us on the hike was Baron, Katie and Darren.  We all decided to go here because they wanted to see if the trail was still hike able and not overgrown.  

We started on a well maintained trail and contoured and came to the terminus of this trail and made our way down into pine trees.  We hit a section of strawberry guava and there was barely a discernible trail left.  Luckily we had a GPS and the track from the last time Josh and Baron came.  We followed the GPS track and cut away some of the strawberry guava.  
We came to a section uluhe and bamboo which the trail was still intact and easy to push through.  

After the bamboo section we got to the stream and followed it up.  There was a left and right fork that both had streams flowing.  Along the stream there was plenty Pohole ferns.  Usually Pohole ferns don't grow on Oahu because they need a lot of water to grow.  Most of the Pohole in the supermarkets come from farms on the Big Island.  

We followed the stream to the terminus at a waterfall.  Kalo was growing in the stream and also Mamaki.  There was a dry chute above this waterfall which means that the water flowing down the face of it usually is a pool or a spring.  Left of this falls was a dry chute as well with a lot of ferns growing on the face of it.  

We hung out took pictures and ate lunch below the falls.  We decided after lunch that we go check out the right fork and go see what's up there.

After taking the right fork and following the steam for ten to fifteen minutes we came to a gigantic dry waterfall chute.  It looked to be one of the biggest dry chutes I had ever seen, even bigger than the sacred falls left side chute.  The water flowing in the stream was also coming from a spring flowing right out of the ground.  We were all impressed with what we saw that day.

 Checking out the stream. 

Interesting looking fungus!

Mamaki in front of the falls.  

These two never stop exploring.

 The Pohole fern.

Baron looking at the massive dry waterfall chute

 A little better perspective on it.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Hanakoa Valley to Kalalau Beach

I'm finally getting down and finishing up videos and photos from SPRING BREAK!  If you haven't seen my Japan stuff I just finished all the blogging and videos on it.  Look for it on this site. 

Hanakoa Valley was a little wet and buggy; staying in a forested area for the night we woke up quite early after a night of talking story, drinking and a camp fire.  We slowly packed up and said our farewells to Keahi who was going to spend one more night in Hanakoa and hike back the next day. 

We shoved off in set for Kalalau Beach which was another 6-7 miles away from Hanakoa Valley.  Our first obstacle a mile into the hike was known as crawlers ledge.  We saw two guys coming out of  valley literally crawling which spooked all of us and made us think this place was nuts when in reality it wasn't too bad.  On the ocean side we saw boats stopped and taking pictures near this area as well.  I guess they frequent this area a lot so if anyone falls into the ocean they might be able to save them.  After crawlers ledge we finally saw Kalalau beach. 

We hit eight mile where we were going to camp the first night, with the stream so close and a super nice view of the ocean the next time we do it that's where I plan to camp.  We slowly marched our way to Kalalau hitting a few more streams and some mild uphill sections.  We got to the Kalalau sign around 11, took our pictures and made our way down red hill.  We hit a really grassy meadow and chilled there for a few minutes.  It was a great break spot.  Still a mile to go with a 30 lb pack we were pretty beat. 

We crossed one last stream and made our way to the camp site.  We finally reached Lei, Jason, Sheri, Dave, and Neal around 12.  It was time for lunch and time to set up camp and relax!  We talked story on how beautiful Hanakoa falls is and shared a few pictures at lunch.  I set up my hammock and chilled in it for about an hour. 

The group decided to go exploring and not waste afternoon time.  Jodi, Jenny, Katie, and I decided to walk down to the beach and go to the cave at the far end of Kalalau beach.  On the way there we saw the waterfall where everyone gets their water to cook bathe and drink with.  We reached the cave and saw how deep it went.  It was a really wet cave.  We explored inside and poked around a bit.  There were waves about a foot to two feet in size right outside the cave where we tried to look for shells and I shot some gopro pictures. 

Before dinner we all showered enjoyed our first sunset from Kalalau beach and got ready to cook our meals.  The sun went down fast or what I thought was fast because I was so tired.  We drank, ate, talked story, and played some games around a camp fire before we all decided to turn in for the night. 

Waves were breaking at the end of Kalalau beach coming into a wedge forming some small barrels.  

A clean one as Jenny, Jody, and Katie watch from shore.

The next frame from the last pic. 

The last clip from the 30 photo burst from the Gopro Hero 3

Katie and I kissing under a rainbow at Kalalau beach.  Photo by: Jenny Ersbak

Kalalau trail... only a few more miles.

Twins at Kalalau!

Looking at the cliffs along Kalalau Valley.

Nice blue ocean with mountains and a grassy meadow to rest at. 

Katie leading the way to our campsite.

Enjoying the sunset at Kalalau beach.

These guys took a dip before dinner.

Just before sunset.

Kalalau beach at 4 am